October 30, 2020

Vital Signs: Stay safe from foodborne illness

By Anna Kellaher

Salmonella is a common bacteria found in raw animal products (Flickr).

This week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report about the amount of foodborne diseases recorded from 2015 to 2018. The report found that the incidence of foodborne diseases increased in 2018 compared to the previous three years.

Some of the most common causes of foodborne illness during 2018 were campylobacter, a bacteria commonly found in poultry, salmonella, a bacteria found in animal products or produce, and vibrio, a bacteria found in undercooked shellfish.

Foodborne illnesses can require hospitalization in severe cases, so it is important to protect yourself through safe food habits.

According to the Food Safety and Inspection Service, some ways that you can avoid these illnesses at home are to wash your hands with warm, soapy water before and after cooking and to thoroughly clean your cooking spaces.

Avoid having pets, household cleaners and other chemicals near surfaces used for cooking. You should always thoroughly cook your food to the proper temperature.

Never use the same platter and utensils that held raw food to serve cooked food — the bacteria present in the raw product can contaminate what could have safely cooked.

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